SwitchBot has thrown its hat into the ring of high-end robot vacuum cleaners, and it's not just here to make up the numbers. The SwitchBot S10 is a well-oiled machine that's ready to take on industry heavyweights such as Roborock and iRobot, boasting unique features that set it apart from the crowd.
Distinctive features of the SwitchBot S10
Let's start by highlighting what makes the SwitchBot S10 stand out. While we've seen similar features in competitors such as the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra, the S10 takes it a step further. It can automatically refill its water tank and clean its mop – a nifty feature that doesn't necessitate a bulky dock. You might be wondering, “how does it achieve this?” The answer is simple: it hooks directly into your home's plumbing system. The S10 utilizes a dual-dock system; one dock drains and refills the water tank, whilst the other serves as its primary base and takes care of dustbin emptying and mop drying.
Granted, automatic water-exchange systems aren't exactly a groundbreaking novelty, with kits already on offer for devices like the Narwal Freo and those from Roborock (in mainland China). However, the SwitchBot S10's approach is refreshingly tank-free. With the kits for the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra, you're still saddled with a frankly gargantuan dock that houses three separate containers for clean and dirty water and an auto-emptying dustbin. Comparatively, the Narwal Freo may boast a more compact dock, but it falls short by neglecting to empty the dustbin automatically. In sharp contrast, the SwitchBot S10's auto-emptying dock can store a staggering 70 days’ worth of grime and debris, ensuring your home remains spotless while you kick back and relax.
The magic behind the auto-refill feature
The auto-refilling dock deserves its own spotlight. It can be connected to any plumbing source, whether that's a tap, washing machine, or even a loo. This dock is unpowered and harnesses the SwitchBot S10's battery to operate the pumps. This design decision not only minimizes its footprint but also allows for flexible placement options, whether that's under a tap or behind a toilet. It's just one of the many ways the S10 proves that it's not about the size of the dock, it's about the size of the innovation.
The SwitchBot S10 is an all-round high-end robot vacuum cleaner
Undeniably, the buzz around the auto-refilling dock is electrifying, but we must maintain our focus on the core function of the SwitchBot S10: vacuum cleaning your smart home. SwitchBot pledges a package of “powerful suction, extended battery life, LiDAR mapping, virtual no-go zones, room-specific cleaning, [and] AI-powered obstacle avoidance […]”. However, the precise details of these features are enshrouded in mystery, due to be unveiled at the IFA event running from 1st to 5th September.
In the absence of specifics, we can employ some deductive reasoning based on the previous model, the SwitchBot S1/S1 Plus, which is only available in select regions. This model boasted a motor with a suction capability of 2700 Pa2. However, in the spirit of progress and the year being 2023, we might anticipate a top-of-the-range model to deliver at least 5000 Pa2 of suction power.
Another intriguing point to decipher is the nature of the AI-powered obstacle avoidance touted by SwitchBot. From the images provided of the S10, it doesn't seem to rely on a camera system. Rather, it is plausible that it employs 3D structured light and infrared imaging technology, akin to the method used by the Roborock S8.